Tigray: The Bishop of Adigrat warns about the consequences of the ongoing conflict and denounces a "genocidal war"

In a video posted by the local Dimtsi Weyane Television channel on YouTube on November 24, Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin, Bishop of Adigrat, denounces a “genocidal war” in the Tigray region. 

"The people of Tigray struggle with difficulty to ensure the respect of their rights" affirmed the Catholic bishop of Adigrat in a "declaration of the Catholic diocese of Adigrat on the current situation of the impact of the war in Tigray" recorded by the local channel Dimtsi Weyane Television and forwarded to theAgenzia Fides.

In this statement, he points to the serious consequences of the war in Tigray on the local population and the Catholic Church. He also denounces a "genocidal war".

“Like all Tigrayans, the Catholic Church in Tigray is very affected by this genocidal war waged by local armies and invited foreign armies, with physical, psychological and spiritual attacks on our laity, our priests, our nuns and our structures. such as places of worship, parishes, schools, health centers, and offices. "

He points out that while the people are suffering from "epidemics, chronic diseases and new diseases", the government's response has been to engage in armed conflict which "has deprived the country of everything, of aid. humanitarian aid to the ability to access all basic services, such as medicine, electricity, telephone, Internet, air and land transport, etc. "

After recalling the opposition of the Catholic Church of Tigray to all these atrocities, he launches a vibrant appeal to the international community and to the Ethiopian Catholic Church for an investigation to be carried out by "an independent international body" on " all crimes ”and“ all atrocities ”.

"We demand that all atrocities and crimes be investigated by an independent international body, so that the bombing of civilians, ethnic cleansing, detentions of Tigrines and members of the armed forces are immediately stopped. 'church. We call on the Ethiopian Catholic Church, located in Addis Ababa and the rest of the regions, to come out of its silence and demand justice against the persecutions and atrocities that have been inflicted on Tigrayans, priests, nuns, lay people in the service of the faithful in the respective ecclesiastical jurisdictions ”.

Then evoking the rapport joint of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published on November 3, the bishop considers that it is "incomplete and does not reveal the truth ".

“They have never visited the affected localities, places we know, without identifying or meeting the surviving victims, and seem to ignore these atrocities as real war crimes and genocides. On the contrary, they are real crimes confirmed not only by the victims and the government of Tigray, but recognized and attested by numerous organizations and independent media around the world. The report of the Ethiopian Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is incomplete and does not reveal the truth. "

In conclusion, Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin assured the solidarity of the Catholic Church of Tigray with "all the people who suffer in all regions of Ethiopia and in all countries". “May the God of peace bless you all,” he added.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image Credit: RudiErnst / Shutterstock.com

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